Great Green Fleet to Visit Philippines
Great Green Fleet to Visit
By Ensign Emily Wilkin, John C.
Stennis Strike Group Public Affairs.
South China Sea — (NNS)
— May 20, 2016 — The USS John C. Stennis Strike Group (JCSSG) is scheduled to
begin a routine port visit to the Philippines May 20 in Subic Bay and 21 May in
Aircraft assigned to Carrier
Air Wing (CVW) 9 fly in formation above USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) and the
guided-missile destroyer USS Stockdale (DDG 106) during an air-and-sea-power
demonstration. Providing a ready force supporting security and stability in the
Indo-Asia-Pacific, John C. Stennis is operating as part of the Great Green Fleet
on a regularly scheduled 7th Fleet deployment.
JCSSG consists of USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) with Carrier
Air Wing (CVW) 9 and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 21 embarked, guided-missile
destroyers USS Stockdale (DDG 106), USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93), and USS William P.
Lawrence (DDG 110), and guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53).
"We are excited to visit Manila and Subic Bay," said Rear Adm.
Marcus Hitchcock, commander, JCSSG. "This is a great opportunity for our Sailors
to see the sights and experience the warm hospitality of the Filipino people.
Many of our Sailors look forward to reconnecting with family and friends in the
The strike group is the centerpiece of the Great Green Fleet
(GGF) and uses energy conservation measures and operational procedures in the
course of its normal tasking to increase energy efficiency. JCSSG has been
underway as part of the GGF since January 2016 and participated in Exercise
Balikatan 2016 in April.
An MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter
assigned to the Raptors of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 71, the
guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53), and the guided-missile destroyers
USS Chung Hoon (DDG 93), and USS Russell (DDG 59) take part in a show of force
transit. The John C. Stennis Strike Group is undergoing a composite training
unit exercise and joint task force exercise, the final step in certifying to
While in the Philippines, strike group personnel will conduct
cultural exchanges with the people of the Philippines by participating in
community relations projects (COMRELS). Sailors plan to visit local elementary
schools, cemeteries, memorials, and a medical center.
In addition to COMRELS, Sailors will take part in Morale,
Welfare and Recreation tours to experience the island and the practices of the
Filipino people. Sailors from Chung-Hoon and William P. Lawrence will also
participate in friendly sporting matches with locals.
Approximately 8,500 Sailors make up the strike group, of
which at least 238 are of Filipino heritage. The Commanding Officer of USS
Stockdale (DDG 106), Cmdr. Raphael Castillejo, is among those Sailors.
Castillejo was born at Makati Medical Center and moved to the
United States as a boy. He has served in the Navy for 23 years and is looking
forward to returning to his hometown for this port visit, he said. He plans to
lead a wreath-laying ceremony at a local cemetery to remember those lost
liberating the Philippines during World War II.
Logistics Specialist 1st Class Don Salamero, a John C.
Stennis crew member, was born and raised in Daet Camarines Norte, in the Bicol
region of the Philippines.
Salamero enlisted in the Navy 17 years ago to explore and
learn about different cultures, and he is excited to return to the Philippines
for this port visit.
JCSSG is on patrol in 7th Fleet providing a ready force
supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific.
For more news on USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) visit